[Coral-List] Barrier reef bleaching

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Sun Mar 27 01:15:11 EDT 2016

On this subject, another paper's abstract includes these statements:

"Surprisingly, no human health or marine ecosystem impacts were associated
with this Australian dust storm event."  "While we have not yet seen any
soft coral disease outbreaks on the Australian Great Barrier Reef similar
to those observed in the Caribbean and while this particular fungal
population was non- or weakly pathogenic, our observations raise the
possibility of future marine ecosystem pathogen impacts from similar dust
storms harboring more pathogenic strains."

The discussion includes the statements that:

"The present report of fungal spore masses in Australian coastal waters
following a dust storm is unprecedented."  " There has not been a similar
event reported by the North Atlantic CPR survey (20 to 60°N) over the past
70 years, the U.S. CPR survey in the Northwest Atlantic (over the past 30
years), the Southern Ocean survey over the past 20 years, or the North
Pacific survey over the past decade."


 "This initial work claimed A. sydowii to be the main causative agent of a
widespread outbreak of sea fan disease in the Caribbean, and increased
influx of African dust was proposed as the source of the coral mortality
(17). Subsequent physiological and toxicological work suggested that the
strains in African dust and as sea fan pathogens were distinct, hence
raising the possibility that African dust was not the source of the
pathogen, although the dust still could have played a nutrient enrichment
role to allow fungal pathogen proliferation (18, 19)."

Pretty amazing event in Australia, though.

Hallegraeff, G., et al.  2014.  Australian dust storm associated with
extensive *Aspergillus syndowii* fungal "bloom" in coastal waters.  Applied
and Environmental Microbiology 80(11): 3315-3320.

Cheers,  Doug

On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 11:17 AM, Douglas Fenner <
douglasfennertassi at gmail.com> wrote:

>    This article is available open-access.
> http://www.mdpi.com/1660-3397/14/3/59/htm
>    I note that the dust storm in question occurred in 2009.  Thus it seems
> unlikely to be the cause of the current bleaching event on the Great
> Barrier Reef.
>     Cheers,  Doug
> <#m_-759127735706507214_DDB4FAA8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>
> On Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 5:22 AM, Eugene Shinn <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
> wrote:
>> I was just made aware of the following paper. Here is the abstract.
>> Remember Aspergillus Sydowii in African dust has been implicated in
>> widespread Caribbean seafan disease. Gene
>> Abstract: Dust has been widely recognised as an important source of
>> nutrients in the marine environment and as a vector for transporting
>> pathogenic microorganisms. Disturbingly, in the wake of a dust storm
>> event along the eastern Australian coast line in 2009, the Continuous
>> Plankton Recorder collected masses of fungal spores and mycelia
>> (~150,000 spores/m3) forming a floating raft that covered a coastal area
>> equivalent to 25 times the surface of England. Cultured A. sydowii
>> strains exhibited varying metabolite profiles, but all produced sydonic
>> acid, a chemotaxonomic marker for A. sydowii. The Australian marine
>> fungal strains share major metabolites and display comparable metabolic
>> diversity to Australian terrestrial strains and to strains pathogenic to
>> Caribbean coral. Secondary colonisation of the rafts by other fungi,
>> including strains of Cladosporium, Penicillium and other Aspergillus
>> species with distinct secondary metabolite profiles, was also
>> encountered. Our bioassays revealed that the dust-derived marine fungal
>> extracts and known A. sydowii metabolites such as sydowic acid,
>> sydowinol and sydowinin A adversely affect photophysiological
>> performance (Fv/Fm) of the coral reef dinoflagellate endosymbiont
>> Symbiodinium. Different Symbiodinium clades exhibited varying
>> sensitivities, mimicking sensitivity to coral bleaching phenomena. The
>> detection of such large amounts of A. sydowii following this dust storm
>> event has potential implications for the health of coral environments
>> such as the Great Barrier Reef.
>> The article is published in Marine Druges
>> Article
>> Aspergillus Sydowii Marine Fungal Bloom in Australian Coastal Waters,
>> Its Metabolites and Potential Impact on Symbiodinium Dinoflagellates
>> Aiko Hayashi 1, Andrew Crombie 2, Ernest Lacey 2, Anthony J. Richardson
>> 3,4, Daniel Vuong 2, Andrew M. Piggott 5 and Gustaaf Hallegraeff 1,*
>> 1 2
>> 3 4 5
>> *
>> Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania,
>> Hobart, Tasmania 7004, Australia; aiko.hayashi at utas.edu.au Microbial
>> Screening Technologies, Building A, 28-54 Percival Rd, Smithfield NSW
>> 2164, Australia; acrombie at microbialscreening.com (A.C.);
>> elacey at microbialscreening.com (E.L.); dvuong at microbialscreening.com
>> (D.V.)
>> CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research, Ecosciences Precinct, Brisbane,
>> Queensland 4102, Australia; anthony.richardson at csiro.au Centre for
>> Applications in Natural Resource Mathematics, School of Mathematics and
>> Physics, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia
>> Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Macquarie University,
>> NSW 2109, Australia; andrew.piggott at mq.edu.au Correspondence:
>> gustaaf.hallegraeff at utas.edu.au; Tel.: +61-3-6226-2623
>> Academic Editors: Samuel Bertrand and Olivier Grovel Received: 9
>> February 2016; Accepted: 3 March 2016; Published: 16 March 2016
>> --
>> No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
>> ------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
>> E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
>> University of South Florida
>> College of Marine Science Room 221A
>> 140 Seventh Avenue South
>> St. Petersburg, FL 33701
>> <eugeneshinn at mail.usf.edu>
>> Tel 727 553-1158
>> ---------------------------------- -----------------------------------
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> --
> Douglas Fenner
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> Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
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> http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2016/03/13/3759569/record-february-warmth-alaska-arctic/
> Sea level is now rising at the fastest rate in 3,000 years.
> http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/02/sea-levels-are-rising-their-fastest-rate-2000-years?utm_campaign=email-news-latest&et_rid=17045989&et_cid=292592
> http://mashable.com/2016/02/22/manmade-sea-level-rise-flooding/#fscPLGedCiqz
> Miami is flooding: "The Siege of Miami, as temperatures rise, so will sea
> levels."  Sea level rising an inch a year there.
> http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/12/21/the-siege-of-miami
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